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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, Equipment and just outdoor cookin' in general, hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures... but stay on topic. And watch for that hijacking.


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Unread 11-14-2011, 08:39 PM   #1
gharriger
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Default How thick?

I'm preparing to build my first offset pit and would like some advice on how thick of plate I should use. I live in Oregon so it is cold and rainy fo a lot of the year. I am planning on taking a sheet of 3/8" plate in to a shop and having it rolled...Thoughts? Tips? Advice? Pit will be about 22" dia. X 48" long. I plan to build a baffle coming down from the top of the cook chamber -firebox opening at a 45 degree angle then flatten out and extend about 6 inches into the pit . I will add some rails to set tuning plates on out beyond that permanent 6" piece. How far off the bottom should I mount the tuning plats? How thick should the plates be? Do I need andy kind of an adjustable damper on the opening between the firebox and cook chamber or is the 45 degree heat deflector sufficient? Thanks guys, I'm brand new to this so sorry for the really basic questions.
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Unread 11-14-2011, 10:59 PM   #2
indianagriller
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3/8 should be plenty for thickness, as far as the tuning plates or baffle i think the deflector plate will work well for you. In an offset you are going to have hot and cool spots just learn your pit and use them to your advantage.
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Unread 11-14-2011, 11:50 PM   #3
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Eugene! Thats awesome, I've had some great visits to your town, good luck on ur build. Make sure u share some of ur pics with us!
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Unread 11-15-2011, 03:13 AM   #4
gharriger
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Thanks guys, it'll be about a month before I get back to the states and can start my build. Meanwhile, I'm trying to round up as many good ideas as I can get and develop some sort of a plan . One more question....Since I'll be getting a piece of 3/8" plate rolled for the smoke chamber and can make it any diameter I want, what size is ideal for a backyard setup?
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Unread 11-15-2011, 08:33 AM   #5
gharriger
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I'll definitely post pics when I get started with my new pit, I just gotta get back home so I can get to work on it. About a month left 'til I get outta this place.
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Unread 11-15-2011, 10:35 AM   #6
indianagriller
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When you think of a good size pit for your needs, make it a little bit bigger. Also on your air intakes and exhaust make sure you make them a little bigger as well, so you can get a good draw through the pit. You can always reduce the amount of air you need by dampening down.
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Unread 11-15-2011, 11:11 AM   #7
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If you make the pit 24" diameter you will be able to fit ribs nicely. I would think about that aspect. I have built my own offset and if I were to do it again I would consider the reverse flow designs. 3/8" thickness is excessive in my opioion. The pit will last forever! Also your doors will be heavy. !/4" will out last you if you take care of it. The 45 degree baffle is a good idea. The slding plates I have thought I would like to have on my offset. The tuning plate I have is half between the grill surface and the bottom of the chamber. 1/4" IS AGAIN THICK ENOUGH TO LAST A LIFETIME! I orinially had an adjustable damper on the fire box then after using it for a while I welded it at 45 degrees as that is where it needed to be.
Make sure you put a drain the bottom to clean out all of the grease.
Ok all of that said is just my opinion and what I have experienced first hand with my offset wich is 24" by 72".
You can cook all you can get in your dream offset in two UDS and for me it is way more efficent and way EASIER TO CONTROLL! So I now have three UDS and ocasionally use my offset mostly because my friends say will you fire up the trailer pit we love to stand by the fie box!!! : ) because it looses so much farking heat to warm them up!
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Unread 11-15-2011, 11:30 AM   #8
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1/4" is good, 3/8 will make it retain more heat. Skip the traditional offset and go straight to Reverse Flow. You'll even out your temps and be much happier with the reverse flow design. Insulate the firebox too.
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Unread 11-15-2011, 08:21 PM   #9
gharriger
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Thanks for all the good advice guys, I was wondering if 3/8 was to thick but I thought given the cold and wet climate that I live in, the extra mass would help retain good, even heat for long cooks. I am still on the fence about building it reverse flow or sliding plates and a baffle, sounds like both styles have their ups and downs. What is the benefit of an insulated firebox...other than less wood comsumption? I have no shortage of firewood (mostly alder and a steady supply of mesquite and hickory) so I don't care about using a little extra. I think I'm gonna make the pit 4' wide and about 26" diameter so I can get a full sheet of plate rolled with minimal cutting. Thanks again guys, some great advice on here!
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Unread 11-15-2011, 08:26 PM   #10
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I have one that is 1/2 in but it over kill 3/8 should work good
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Unread 11-15-2011, 08:55 PM   #11
gharriger
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If I build a reverse flow, can I still add a cold smoke chamber on the end further down the road if I feel the need?
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Unread 11-15-2011, 08:57 PM   #12
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i have a pit thats 1/4" thick. 20x48 and i love it. if you go with the 3/8" then def think about putting a counter weight on the door. mine is heavy enough. i like the weight so i dont have a counter weight on mine, but at 3/8" it might be advised.


you dont need rails to sit your tuning plates on. they will just sit on the sides of the chamber. since the chamber is round and tapers off as it goes lower, teh tuning plates just sit right in the chamber. i might throw these in mine as well soon. im also thinking about getting a heat deflector plate from horizon to put in mine.

good luck! excited to see some pics of the build!
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Unread 11-15-2011, 09:10 PM   #13
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counter weights will be a must!
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Unread 11-15-2011, 09:15 PM   #14
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.375 will make it weigh too much.
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Unread 11-15-2011, 09:42 PM   #15
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weigh too much for what NorthwestBBQ?
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